From nutrition to antibiotics, from heart disease to food poisoning, what matters now is not just what we eat, but how it has been produced, distributed and processed. A new, global politics of food and health is emerging. In the North, the linkages of trade, food and health have been apparent in the reactions to BSE in beef and GM crops. In many developing countries, endemic problems of a 'Western' diet have been imported, so that coronary disease, food-related cancers, obesity and diabetes are found alongside food shortages. The policy responses continue to be contradictory, with health ministries trying to stem the rise of food-related disease, while trade ministers commit their food and agriculture industries to the policies that cause the problems.
The authors show how public health cannot be regarded as a barrier to 'free' trade, under agreements that allow powerful corporations and rich consumers to treat the world as their larder. Giving it the importance it demands will require a new, ecological and population-based conception of public health. There are many signs that this is emerging to be one of the main political agendas of the coming century.
The book will be essential and stimulating reading for everyone professionally or academically involved - or merely concerned - with health policy, agricultural and food policy and globalization issues....Continua